Episode notes

With Series 10 almost upon us we’re looking at some of the things we’d like to see (and something we don’t) for the 12th Doctor’s final outing.

No1 – It’s all about the characters

This might seem like an obvious one but over the past few years we’ve seen various episodes where the Doctor has carried the story due to a weak script and an even weaker story (Matt Smith certainly earned his wages!). Various stories felt like a good plot had been mapped out but the writers didn’t know how to move the characters forward or integrate them into the story. As a result we’d have a great plot but weak character writing (how many times when reviewing episodes from Moff’s era have we said something like “Amy was useless in this one” or “the Doctor wasn’t used very well at all” or the best one – “the dialogue between these characters is wooden etc”).

For me, one of the things that makes the RTD era more enjoyable, are the characters. The Moff has a great talent for singular stories and when he wasn’t show runner he had pockets of greatness but his character interactions since series 5 onwards have been mostly subpar. RTD really understood that when you take away all the sci-fi stuff you’re left with the characters that will last forever.

Let’s make the show about the Doctor again, his relationship with the companion(s), his interactions with everyday folk and those awesome moments from all the characters that keep us coming back for more.

No2 – Give The Doctor his prominence back

How many times during the last few years have you thought “why is Clara saving the day here?” or “surely this is taking away the point of The Doctor being (ironically) the hero?”. Yes it happened, especially in the case of the 12th Doctor, quite a lot. The Doctor should be the hero, he should be the “man with a plan”. I know we’ve seen that on a few occasions but too often we were left thinking who’s actually running the show here?

We do on occasion have “Doctor-lite” episodes but that’s something else, that’s intentional. When you have the companion coming up with the plan, running off (🙂), executing the “save the day” move with the Doctor just sitting back it dilutes The Doctor’s authority and his role. In a way that’s a huge contradiction, there are no rules (as such) and there is no right or wrong but one thing that should remain consistent is The Doctor taking the lead unless otherwise incapacitated.

One of the tag lines for series 10 is “A time for heroes” so at face value, that’s a good thing.

No3 – A sense of adventure with each episode

We’ve said it a million times – the Moff loves a huge complex story arc. The kind that span at least one series and ultimately result in the show collapsing under it’s own weight at times. It would be great to go back to (dare I say it) a more classic Who feel where the TARDIS lands on a planet, ship etc and The Doctor and companions are caught up in whatever planetary crisis is happening at the time.

Do away with the shackles of stopping a character doing something because in an upcoming episode in three weeks time that character needs to say something important. Let go the need to tie literally everything together across an entire series. The idea of having two-parters in the last series was appealing as it meant we could explore individual stories and have time to flesh out characters and situations but alas, the Moff couldn’t help himself.

Let’s get back to each week looking forward to adventures in fantastic places and not being too concerned with series-long arcs. I fear that the situation with Nardole may prevent that (and possibly Bill) but hey, let’s keep fingers crossed.

No4 – Write The Doctor consistently throughout the series

Another big issue we had with series 9 was how inconsistent The Doctor was written. From the start of series 8 we had a firm, dark Doctor with shades of Hartnell but over time and especially into series 9 that was diminished with goofy moments, lacklustre attempts at humour and weak moments lead by the companion.

The Doctor, above all else, needs to have a consistent approach to the character. Looking back through all the Doctors, they’ve all changed and evolved slightly throughout their era but not in a way that’s compromised their portrayal of the character. Picking a Doctor at random, let’s say the 3rd Doctor, you can pick out pretty much any story and Pertwee is playing The Doctor in the same way. He approaches things in the same way and deals with problems in the same way. That may have something to do with the way Pertwee was insistent on playing the Doctor but you can see the benefit.

Please Mr Moff, I hope you’ve listened to fans on this one (and hopefully Capaldi too) and addressed it. From the teaser, trailer and other tid bits series 10 is sounding quite new and fresh which is good so it’s the perfect opportunity.

No5 – Sort the theme out

I know, there’s lots of you who really like the current theme, but I don’t. I really don’t. It’s just a bit “screechy” for me and doesn’t feel very full bodied, a bit tinny if you will. Many times on the podcast I’ve said that the theme for series 4/the specials is my fav (from modern Who) as it has a great tempo and brings energy to get you “in the zone” and the story ahead. Series 8 and 9’s theme pales in comparison.

We’ve had variations on the theme as each series has passed since 2005 but I believe (please correct me in the comments) that both of Capaldi’s themes have been the same. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but as this is the last series for both Capaldi and the Moff, now would be a good time to go out with an awesome updated theme.

So there we go, 5 things I want to see in series 10. Agree? Disagree? Anything you want to see that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments below.

Author: Garry

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